Tarte Tatin is one of my favorite fruit desserts. It is easy to make, looks beautiful, and the caramelization, in my opinion, is a champion of flavors. Fuyu persimmons are round and crisp and, when ripe, can be eaten like an apple or pear, which makes them perfect for all kinds of pies and tarts. Usually I bake one kind of fruit Tarte Tatin, but this time I had only four persimmons and realized that it won’t be enough for my 12" skillet and added a handful of dried cranberries soaked in Calvados. I also cooked the caramel with two different sugars, orange zest and juice, and vanilla bean seeds; all the yummy additions to this classic French recipe kicked it up more than a notch! —Kukla
Test Kitchen Notes
Kukla has created a delightful dessert, perfect for a chilly afternoon. The comforting flavors of orange, cinnamon, and caramelized sugar pair perfectly with persimmon and booze-infused cranberries. This is simple to make, but be sure to keep a close eye on the pastry while baking to keep the sugars from hardening. —figgypudding
sheet frozen puff pastry (half of a 17.3-ounce package), thawed
(1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1" pieces
organic cane sugar
light brown sugar
Zest and juice from 1/2 orange
vanilla bean, seeds scraped
ripe but firm Fuyu persimmons (about 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, cored and quartered
dried unsweetened cranberries soaked in 1 tablespoon of Calvados or other brandy
Whisk crème fraîche and orange zest in small bowl. Cover and chill. In another small bowl, combine the sugars and a large pinch of salt, cinnamon and orange zest. Set aside.
Unfold puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll into a 12" square about 1/8" thick. Using a 12" plate as a guide, cut out a 12" round with a sharp paring knife. Transfer pastry round to a baking sheet; cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Swirl butter, orange juice and vanilla bean seeds in a 12" heavy ovenproof skillet over medium heat until butter melts. Sprinkle sugar mixture over, evenly coating bottom of skillet. Add persimmon quarters; increase heat to medium-high and cook until sugar melts, occasionally swirling persimmon quarters in pan, about 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium and cook, continuing to swirl persimmons in pan, about 5 minutes longer. Flip persimmons and cook, swirling occasionally, until syrup is thick and golden brown, 5–10 minutes longer.
Arrange soaked cranberries in between persimmon quarters; cover with pastry round, tucking in edges of pastry. Bake until pastry is light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375°F; bake until pastry is puffed and deep golden, about 20 minutes longer.
Let Tarte Tatin cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Invert a serving plate over skillet. Using oven mitts, firmly hold plate and skillet and invert Tarte onto plate. Remove skillet; rearrange the fruit if needed and scrape any caramel in skillet over. Serve warm or at room temperature with the crème fraîche and orange zest mixture or vanilla ice cream.